Presentism, alterity and historical thinking

Andreas Körber


"Presentism" as the non-recognition of fundamental otherness of the past ("historical alterity") is often regarded as ultimately flawed, but at the same time as a kind of innate form of historical thought (Wineburg's "unnatural act"), which must be overcome through history education. The premise of the otherness of the past does, however, also have its pitfalls and limitations.
Using an example of a problematic diagnosis of historical thought as "presentistic", the article outlines the challenge of a more comprehensive concept of historical thinking and learning.


Historical Thinking; History Education; Presentism; Jörn Rüsen; Sam Wineburg; Stéphane Lévesque;

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Copyright (c) 2019 Andreas Körber

Historical Encounters is a double blind peer-reviewed, open access, interdisciplinary journal dedicated to the empirical and theoretical study of historical consciousness, historical cultures, and history education.

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